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I am applying for a job on a cruise ship and was asked to take a medical exam as a condition of employment. What sorts of information that comes up on a medical exam would prevent the cruise company from hiring me?

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  • 'could prevent'. Voting to close as primarily opinion-based. Unless someone involved in these checks is reading your question and wiling to disclose information, any answer is going to be guesswork. – Jan Doggen Jan 20 '14 at 12:48
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    Can't answer without knowing the nature of the job. Are you going to be a Cook? Mechanic? The captain? – Sandra K Jul 10 at 16:12
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Just a guess but I'll throw it out there - cruise ships are going to reject hiring anyone who has a likelihood of having or getting a medical condition that:

  • Can't be fixed on board a ship - it's a bad risk if they have to ship you off board in an emergency or even a situation that is semi-urgent (ie, can't wait until the cruise reaches a dock). Also, finding you a replacement on short notice in a season can't be fun either, so I can see them mitigating any issues of this type.

  • Any indicator at all that anything wrong with you could be catching - any contained environment is going to be more rigorous since everyone is more or less trapped together.

  • Is likely to create bad side effects when combined with an ocean environment. For example (albeit ridiculous) an allergy to sea water.

Not being a doctor, I couldn't connect any of these cases to your specific medical results.

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In general, physicals related to seeking a new job look for some main things:

Are you healthy and capable enough to perform job duties, including those that occur only rarely or in emergencies?

For example, if you were being hired as a home health aid, it might be plausibly required that you be strong enough to lift or roll patients. An example of that related to working on a cruise ship may be that in case of a power loss emergency where elevators are not working, you can reasonably be expected to help with an evacuation, which usually involves taking the many flights of stairs.

Are you a health risk to others?

For example, they may check that your vaccines are current and you are free of easily-communicable illness.

Would the job pose an undue risk to you (and thus perhaps also a potential liability to the company)?

If you have a serious condition that can't be treated on board the ship, such that time away at sea without quick access to a hospital poses a meaningful risk to your health, it's not ideal to expose you (and as a consequence, themselves) to that. If you were applying to a job that required heavy lifting but you had a history of previous surgery on your back, a doctor could reasonably conclude that the job was more risky for you than it would be to the average person.

Specialized concerns:

For a cruise ship situation, this might include things like severe seasickness. For working in a seafood packing plant, something like a shellfish allergy might exclude you if there is no reasonable way to make accommodations for you to avoid the allergen.

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Your problem is more what the results could potentially mean. If the numbers warrant they could request that you get more tests, or retest you blood to see if the result is potentially anomalous. And make their decision based off those test results. Depending on the position you are applying for your potential liver issues could cause the company to either withdraw any offer they previously issued or decline to offer you a position.

With out knowing what the actual condition you have that is causing the problem it is hard to say how the company will react. I suspect that you know why the numbers are elevated which is why you asked the question. If you can not take the stress of worrying about the response to the results you could disclose your condition to the company and ask directly. There is a good chance at this point that they will either discover the condition, or make assumptions and decide on the that anyway. If you know that your condition will disqualify you from the position you should probably with draw from consideration anyway.

To be honest if I were an employer seeing an elevated liver enzyme result on a blood test I have 2 real concerns. One is that you could have an alcohol problem that has caused liver damage. Since I do not know you I have to assume the worst and that is that your problem is not under control. The other reason that jumps to mind is hepatitis. This is potentially a risk to my other employees and guests. I may not be able to use either of these potential problems against you, but I am sure I can find many other reasons why I decided not to hire you. So instead of getting the truth that the results of your blood test scared me off, I am going to use some other reason for not hiring you. Unless I do not really care about either of those and think that you will make me more money that you cost me. I am not that guy but then again I do not run a big business like this.

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